System Recovers from Floods, Turns to Help
LYBURN, WV _ The Hatfield-McCoy Trails has
substantially recovered from weekend flooding in
Mingo County, West Virginia, and hopes to be
back to 100 percent by June 1, Executive
Director Jeffrey T. Lusk said Thursday.
all Hatfield-McCoy equipment not being used to
repair the trails is being loaned to the town of
Gilbert to help in flood recovery, Lusk said.
Southern West Virginia was stricken by heavy
flooding Saturday, destroying hundreds of homes
and businesses. Much of the damage was centered
in Gilbert in Mingo County.
“This was a
catastrophic event that most of us have not seen
before,” Lusk said. “The Hatfield-McCoy Regional
Recreational Authority wants to do its part to
help the town of Gilbert and businesses in that
“We have all of our crews working overtime
to get the trails up and running and every piece
of equipment we have that is not pushing dirt in
the woods on trails is in Gilbert helping with
flood recovery,” he said.
“Gilbert is the centerpiece of our trail
system,” Lusk said. “We lost probably about half
of the Rockhouse Trail System and about half of
the Buffalo Mountain Trail System.” (Rockhouse
is located near Gilbert and Buffalo Mountain
The connector to the town of Gilbert was
reopened Thursday, Lusk said, with about 70
percent of the Rockhouse and Buffalo Mountain
trails also reopened.
The connector to Matewan remains closed, he
said, but is expected to reopen by May 20.
“We’re going to get through this,” Lusk said.
“We’ve been working 12- to 14-hour days since
Saturday to get the trails open and to help
businesses recover.” The Hatfield-McCoy Trails
is a key economic engine for the area,
especially in and around Gilbert where many
businesses have sprouted since the Trails opened
The four other trail systems – Bear Wallow,
Indian Ridge, Little Coal and Pinnacle Creek –
were largely unaffected, Lusk said, and are
The Hatfield-McCoy Trial System was
created by the West Virginia Legislature to
generate economic development through tourism in
nine southern West Virginia counties. It
currently operates six systems with more than
500 miles of trails. Each system is open 365
days a year to ATVs, dirt bikes, select utility
vehicles (UTVs), mountain bikes, horses, and
hikers. Many of the trail systems also offer
community connecting trails that allow visitors
to access “ATV-friendly towns” to experience the
charm of southern West Virginia.